David Moyes was 'embarrassing' as Manchester United boss - Rio Ferdinand

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Football News

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has launched a scathing attack on former boss David Moyes, insisting that the Scot's reign was 'embarrassing' and full of "negativity and confusion".

Moyes was appointed as Sir Alex Ferguson's successor when the 72-year-old decided to call time on his trophy-laden time in charge at Old Trafford in 2013.


However, despite being handed a six-year deal to lead the post-Ferguson era at Manchester United, he lasted just 10 months before he was sacked. In that time he consigned the club to their lowest ever Premier League finish, and sparked controversy by insisting that Manchester United should aspire to be more like fierce rivals Manchester City.

There has been little said on his ill-fated reign since his departure in April from within the camp - but now Ferdinand has lifted the lid on life behind the scenes.


Writing in his new book #2sides which is being serialised in the Sun, the former Manchester United defender, who left after 12 years at the club when his contract expired in the summer, claims that Moyes couldn't make the step up from being charge of Everton to taking over one of the world's biggest clubs, and says he didn't enjoy playing under him either.

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"He tried to impose a vision, but never seemed to be completely clear what that vision should be," he said.

"Unintentionally, he created a negative vibe where, with Fergie, it had always been positive. He'd slowly lost us. I didn't enjoy playing under him.


"Moyes's innovations led to negativity and confusion. It was always how to stop the other side. Moyes set us up not to lose. We'd been accustomed to playing to win."

Perhaps the lowest point of the Moyes era came in the 2-2 draw against Fulham in February, when they attempted a record 81 crosses. Ferdinand believes that represented a departure from Manchester United's traditional attacking style.

He continued: "Sometimes our main tactic was the long, high, diagonal cross. It was embarrassing. In one home game against Fulham we had 81 crosses! I was thinking, why are we doing this? Andy Carroll doesn't play for us!

"It was always how to stop the other side. Moyes set us up not to lose. We'd been accustomed to playing to win."


Louis van Gaal replaced Moyes at Old Trafford following his departure, and after a slow start finally claimed his first competitive win since taking over against QPR yesterday.

The Dutchman has spent his career managing some of the biggest clubs in the world including Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Moyes on the other hand prepared for the Manchester United job by spending 11 years with Everton, and Ferdinand believes he wasn't ready to take on a challenge like replacing Ferguson at one of the world's biggest clubs.

"You’d pick up the paper and see him saying things like “we aspire to be like Man City” or Liverpool were favourites against us," he explained. "But this wasn’t Everton, it was Manchester United. We don’t want to survive. We want to win."


Another issue for Ferdinand, now with QPR, was the mixed messages coming from Moyes as he tried to impose his own style on Manchester United.

"It was as if he had no confidence in our abilities. We doubted everything, The mixed messages were even worse. Sometimes he’d say, “I want you to pass the ball.”

"Other days it was: “I don’t want you to pass the ball.” What the f*** do you want us to do, man? In the pool you heard a lot of guys complaining: “I just don’t know what he wants. He had me doubting everything."

David Moyes
Rio Ferdinand
Manchester United
Premier League

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